Wishing

Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #72: Wish

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Close your eyes.

Make a wish.

Blow all the candles out at once!

So your wish will come true…

 

birthday candles011 copy 2

A healthy baby.

One, then two.

Wish them strong and happy.

Wish they always follow their dreams.

Stay safe from year to year.

Wish them confident and sure.

Lives full of love

and

light.

 

So thankful…

For all those years

I blew out every candle.

 

What do I wish for now?

walking together

More time.

 

 

 

Wait for it

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #71: Wait

Explore with me, if you will, the concept of waiting.

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Was this the spot? Where it waited for me a couple of days ago? Before the first frost on the horizon could put it on hold…

deep woods

Camera in hand, I had waited until late afternoon to catch the sunlight filtering through the trees. I thought I was dressed appropriately. Jeans. Sneakers. Jacket. It wasn’t really very cold. The woods were deserted. The path well covered with leaves.

However, I needed to go deeper into the woods to catch the best lighting. I carefully stomped around tree branches, prickly vines, decaying logs…my feet briefly disappearing into layers of damp leaves and grass. Making my way towards the light.

Despite the roar of the nearby highway, I enjoy the peaceful pull of these woods. Bordering my condo development, the local utility company owns the land and has left it virtually untouched. The smell is comforting. Familiar. Summer camp. Vacations with my kids at a lake in the mountains.

And now…retired, nest emptied, I have all the time I need to grab the camera and explore. Taking all the pictures I want to. Standing still in the damp leaves. Waiting for the light to shift. Crouching down. Looking up. Quickly focusing.

Time passes. The light moves once more. And so do I.

Maybe it was here…

deep woods 2

They say you should tuck your pant legs into your socks. This never occurred to me. My woods feel safe. A sanctuary of sorts. Like I said…peaceful. I’m alone, but not really. A lone chipmunk scurries out of a fallen tree trunk and sits feet away, unafraid. A hawk swoops overhead alighting on a top branch…before taking off seconds later – too fast for my amateur photography skills.

There are also the deer I’ve encountered over the past few months…
The mama and her two baby deer who stand motionless when they see me at the end of the access road to the woods. We briefly stare at each other before she turns, babies following, and trots away…disappearing through the trees.

This time, when the light started to fade and I headed back home, I unknowingly transported more than my camera full of new images. After dinner, I transferred the photos…got ready for bed…

And that’s when I discovered what else I had carried home. It was actively feasting on my right thigh.

WTH?

A deer tick.

After much freaking out (this was my first tick), I removed it – with some difficulty. Apparently the little critter was hungry. (full disclosure: my husband assisted)

There is a high risk of Lyme disease transmission where I live in the Northeast so we deposited it in a tiny plastic bag for testing.

The next day, I spent hours…waiting…for the doctor to call me back. Will she or won’t she agree to follow the (current) protocol for antibiotics to hopefully prevent the onset of Lyme. A potentially disabling disease which I could not fathom dealing with on top of the other health challenges I already face.

Waiting for phone calls from doctors takes on its own anxious energy. Unleashing wild imaginings, which I admit are worst case scenarios. However, when you repeatedly hear how you are the exception to the usual rules of medicine (that doesn’t usually happenI’ve never seen that before…), that’s where your imagination – unfortunately – goes. Waiting that sucks the time right out of your day. Right out of your life. I hate spending precious time this way.

After six hours, the doctor called back (the nurse, not actually the doctor – since that rarely happens) and, yes, I can take the antibiotics.

Now I wait to see if they work.

 

tick

(I couldn’t resist a macro shot of this unwanted guest…safely secured in its plastic resting place)

 

 

Alien cures

Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #70: alien

 

What an interesting prompt from V.J. this week.

Sometimes I also feel like an alien in the same way that V.J. does. As I juggle multiple health issues that are often met with a doctor shrugging his or her shoulders commenting: I’ve never seen that one before. Before giving up. Time and again.

So imagine my surprise and fascination upon entering a General Store exhibit (at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont) this summer. Filled with – among other things – items from an actual pharmacy circa early 1900s.

I could have spent the entire day in that one building. Hundreds of medications, potions, elixirs and tonics in their original packaging. With claims for cures for most everything that could possibly be wrong with you. I noticed a proliferation of products to help babies sleep at night…and cures for all things bowel related. Interesting!

This is how people were “medicated” back then.

All of it alien to me.

old drugs

That face on the orange box (described as the “laughing baby” trademark)…Sorry, that baby is NOT laughing. He/she/it could possibly qualify in the alien category.

Was it really tasteless? I wonder. At first I thought it was to help babies chill out, but apparently not.

However…

Got me thinking…perhaps there may still be one pill out there somewhere that could cure all kinds of peristaltic problems. Ahem. Plus dizziness and headaches. And costiveness. Yes, I had to look that one up: aka constipation.
Dr. Harrison where are you.

old drugs 2

And if all else fails, there is always the Electric Cough Cure. That chloroform and codeine combo could make a comeback if we’re lucky.

old drugs 3

Unfortunately that wouldn’t cure what ails me.

Either would these…

old drugs 4

But I’ll bet babies who cough would sleep well at night.

 

[All of these products are displayed in glass cases – hence the reflections…]

 

Shreds

Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #69: kindle

How do you ignite motivation when stalled? Or perhaps, you perceive need for a kickstart elsewhere.

~~~


To write or not to write?
That is the question.

Well, not the entire question.

To procrastinate or not to procrastinate?
That is the real question.

How to get past that pile of crap sometimes planted squarely in the way…

How to ignite a dormant fraction of an idea that briefly appears – and perhaps even feels momentarily brilliant…before it evaporates in a mist of uncertainty? Ghostly voices echoing unimportant not good enough who cares…before sinking it into the muck of inertia.

So I plod on, searching for the proper mix of kindling.
To ignite…to spark.
To silence the ghosts.

To harness the energy in such short supply.

My current mantra…
Hold on.
Begin.
One sentence at a time.
The purpose will make itself known…

…When I was in college I wrote every day. Didn’t think twice about it. Not just research papers. Or chemistry lab reports. But a personal journal with a jet black cover given to me by a girlfriend – a full size sketch book.

Fresh kindling tumbled forth without fail…plenty of sparks back then…filling pages…line by line.

Questioning. Worrying. Wondering. Planning.
What if? Why not? Why now? How will I? Should I? Oh no.

Careful script or hurried scrawl. Grand calligraphy moments of introspection.
Unfiltered and often painful, it was all there…

This past summer, I revisited – and read – what I had written decades ago.

Pages of words to heal.

Their purpose…fulfilled.

shreds long

Time to let them go.

Let’s play

Inspired by:

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #67: Candid

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #68: Play

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Let’s see what happens when you pick up a small stone – the flatter the better – hold it just right between your thumb and first finger. Flick your hand back and then forward real quick – releasing it across the lake’s surface…

So it skips.

At 6 years old, you already play with rocks that you collect and line up in long rows on the deck railing at home. Separating them by size and shape. Carefully. Methodically. Counting them is also part of the fun.

But here it is different.

You and your family are at the lake.

You watch your daddy and see how he gets those stones to bounce across the water.

It is summer vacation after all.

No phones. No TV. No work. No school.

Hours upon hours to play.

gpc skipping stones 1994

 

Or maybe you’re only 3 years old. Your grampa is visiting to celebrate his 70th birthday and you want to try out your new doctor kit. He is your Patient of the Day.

First you listen to his heart. He is very quiet while you check it out.

Then he rolls up his sleeve so you can give him a shot. Because after all he might need one. Ooooh.

Ouch!

But you know he is just kidding.

This is just playtime pretend.

 

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our sky

Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #67: Sky

 
east coast sky

We all live under the same sky.

Sharing the planet…the air…the water.

Handing it down one generation to the next.

The sky’s the limit…we hope to tell our children.

At least I did.

Many parents can’t share that hope.

Their children look up…confused.

They don’t understand.

I told my children anything was possible.

Work hard. Persevere. Love. Share. Support.

Be grateful for the help that comes your way.

To make it possible.

 

We all live under the same sky.

We need to learn how to share it.

 

The sky’s the limit.

rainbow sky

The pull of the story

Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #66: Savour

This week, let’s consider what we savour.

~~~

A good story. A good book. I’ve always savored those moments – from the days of a flashlight under the covers late at night…to now…when my eyes close despite the glow of the bedside lamp.

Page corners folded. Neon post-it flags stuck in places to return to. Aha! sentences marked in pencil.

My favorites? The ones with characters who mirror my hopes…fears…life challenges. Or my possibilities…the “what ifs”…

From an early age, I looked forward to stories. An alternate universe of adventure I could only dream about as a young girl. It was unheard of to strive for independence as a boy would…well, except for Nancy Drew. She had remarkable success. It was exhilarating.

Years later, my chosen books lengthened. The topics expanded.

Elizabeth Berg emerged as one of my favorite authors. I met her at several book signings when she lived in the northeast. Her stories are treasures to savor, but one in particular –  The Pull of the Moon – struck a chord like no other. It is one of the few books I have read multiple times. The main character – Nan – writes letters to her husband while she’s on a solo road trip…as she explores what it means to age. Looking forward and looking back. As she turns 50. The book is a journal of sorts.

A powerful story.

 

 

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